Get involved in student organizations

Story by Rita Fay, Staff Writer

I spent the first two years of my college career going to classes and hanging out with friends. It wasn’t until junior year that I joined a student organization and stuck with it. I had joined two other student organizations in my first two years, but I didn’t enjoy them and quit after a month or two. The student organization I joined my junior year ended up being a different experience.

The first two organizations I joined weren’t a good fit for me. I joined because I thought I should, but I had little interest in what the student organizations were about. That was my mistake. I’m not here to write a testimonial about the student organization that I’m in, so I won’t mention the name, but when I joined my junior year, I immediately loved it.

The people in this organization liked the same things I did, they had similar passions as me and everybody was really nice. These were people I know I wouldn’t have met if I hadn’t joined a student organization. I was able to talk to them about similar concerns, passions and interests. Joining the organization brought me out of my comfort zone. I’m not the type of person to talk to people I don’t know well, so being in this organization gave me a chance to get to know people outside of my everyday friends.

I learn a lot in the classes I take, but being in a student organization has given me practical knowledge I can’t get in the classroom. By being involved, I have been given the chance to be a leader and explore my interests. Being in a student organization allows you to learn more about yourself. It can point out what your strengths and weaknesses are, and how you can use that information to your advantage in other aspects of your life.

Being in a student organization means setting aside time to devote to that particular organization. It requires you to learn time management. Balancing classes, a social life and being in a student organization may seem like a lot, but if you budget time correctly, it can be healthy.

It’s is also a great way to network. Most student organizations require a faculty advisor; they can be a great source for advice or perhaps a reference for a job in the future.

I encourage everybody to find an organization they find interesting and join. It may take a few times to find one you really enjoy, but don’t give up. Being in a student organization can give students experience, knowledge, and friendship.

I have gained all of these traits from being involved with student organizations. I have also benefited from these by writing for The Spectator. As much as I learn in my classes about writing, nothing is better than the practical experience of writing every week for a newspaper.